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Thursday, 20 January 2022 04:32

AFCON: Iheanacho  is not a typical number 10 - Okocha

Austin Okocha, a Nigeria legend who knows a thing or two about playmaking, has weighed in on Kelechi Iheanacho's new role at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Augustine Eguavoen, Nigeria's caretaker manager, appears to have delegated playmaking duties to Iheanacho, who is primarily used as a second striker at club level these days.

Iheanacho was involved in half of Nigeria's six goals in the group stage, scoring against Egypt, setting up Sadiq's goal against Guinea-Bissau, and it was his free-kick floating into the box that eventually hit the head of Awoniyi for the Super Eagles' second goal against Sudan.

Okocha represented Nigeria at five Africa Cup of Nations, winning the tournament in 1994 and helping the country to podium finishes four times, opined that despite those great numbers; "Iheanacho is not a true playmaker and was only chosen for the position because of his goal-scoring abilities," he said.

On SuperSport, Okocha said the following about Iheanacho: "He's a creative midfielder, not your traditional number ten. He's an excellent finisher. I see why the coach has him in that position since he consistently converts even half-chances.

"It all comes down to finding the appropriate balance for the squad and understanding what works best for them.

"At the end of the day, it's all about collaboration, and I'd want to see the coach put players in their proper positions."



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